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International Edition Winners 2009: India (Grade 9-10: Target 1)

International Edition Winners 2009: India (Grade 9-10: Target 1)

E. Radhe Shyam
Saturn and Rings
E. Radhe Shyam

9th Grade; Teacher: Ms. Manjusha

C.R.P.F. Public School

" As a Mission scientist my mission is 'Target I' i.e., Saturn and its rings. From the time when the Saturn was discovered scientists were fascinated and puzzled by the rings of the Saturn. With the help of instruments on board Cassini, We may be able to find the origin of these rings. We can study the composition of these rings. We can know the source of the magnetosphere of Saturn . We can have an opportunity to study the cryovolcanic plume and the geological activity of Enceladus.

The mission objectives I hope to achieve are:

• Determine the composition of the particles of the rings.
• Determine composition of particles on Enceladus.
• Define how Enceladus contributes to the E-ring.
• Investigate the distribution of plasma particles in the magnetosphere.
• Study the interference of Enceladus with the magnetosphere of Saturn.
• Discover new rings if possible.
• Study the composition of the cryovolcanic plume.
• Study the magnetosphere to determine its source.
• Study the rings for new moonlets.
• Investigate formation of spokes and their variations.

To achieve the above objectives, the instruments needed are:

• Cassini plasma spectrometer – It helps to find plasma in the Saturn 's magnetic field.
• Composite infrared spectrometer – It helps to know the temperature at various belts of rings and the composition at different places.
• Cosmic dust analyzer – May help to find the source of ice in the E-ring( if it is coming from Enceladus)
• Duel technique magnetometer- It helps to find the influence of Saturn's atmosphere and rings on the magnetosphere.
• Magnetospheric imaging instrument.- Helps to find the density of plasma in the magnetosphere.
• Ultraviolet imaging spectrograph- It helps to know the structure and chemistry of geological features of Enceladus.

Studying the rings of Saturn may prove beneficial. The spokes of the Saturn may be the ice particles arranged in an narrow belt which illumine when sun's rays follow on them. The variation in density of the rings may be due to the variation in the pattern of gravitational waves caused by various atmospheric disturbances. Studying this patterns will lead to a greater understanding of the organizations of our own solar system. The availability of water on Saturn's moon Enceladus may because, when a meteor or a comet containing water might have hit Enceladus during early period of its formation and may have deposited water and other particles in the form of clouds. By the passage of time it might have been collected into craters and covered by debris being collected on the surface like fossil fuels.

The 'ring system' of Saturn is like a mini 'Solar system' in itself. If we find out the origin of the rings we may know how our planet might have form. Knowing about the magnetosphere of Saturn may provide us with greater knowledge of conditions in which planets had formed. The magnetic field of Saturn is quite familiar to that of earth, and understanding it may help us to know about the origin of earth. And if the water in Enceladus comes out of the surface it will affect the topography of the satellite. Also studying these rings may help us to discover new moonlets. "